Star Wars Creations @ Legoland California 2018

We went to Legoland in June and among the more impressive Lego creations we saw were the incredible Star Wars creations. The amount of work that went into these must have been intense. Amazing to see! Here are all of my photos from this part of Legoland.

[Full gallery]

Aerosmith Live: Concert Photos & Video…and the story of me getting ejected from the show floor!

Here’s the story of what I was doing in Dallas last fall, and how I was able to see Aerosmith live. A couple of photos and a link to the full gallery and video are below. But did you I know I got ejected from the show floor? ?

Continue reading Aerosmith Live: Concert Photos & Video…and the story of me getting ejected from the show floor!

Darius Rucker Live: Concert Photos & Video

In October 2017 I was invited to provide social media support for The Summit, an event put on by AT&T Business. Part of that event was world-class entertainment: the smaller entertainment event was a live show by Darius Rucker (yep, the “Hootie and the Blowfish Guy”) at the Glass Cactus in Texas. The larger event was none other than Aerosmith. Honestly, I was more excited to see Darius Rucker than Aerosmith because I never saw Darius perform live during his “Hootie” days! I’d seen Aerosmith in their prime during the 1990 “Pump” tour and…wait, that was 28 years ago? ? Thank you Wikipedia for reminding me I am getting old. ?

Below are my photos from the Rucker show – along with 20 minutes of live concert footage.

A few words about the video: on one hand I’m stunned at how amazing my Nikon D750 is at capturing videos when paired with a tasty f/2.8 lens (the original video looks better than what YouTube does to it). On the other hand without a tripod it was extremely hard to get a video with smooth pans and zooms – so pardon the sections where it looks like I was getting shoved – that’s just me trying to zoom in/out while freeholding a huge lens and camera. ? During the stable bits I am proud of how this turned out (along with my Final Cut Pro edits and colour tweaks). Can’t say much for the audio as that’s just the on-camera mic, but it’s passable (when it’s not clipping).

Back to Rucker: his voice is every bit as powerful as you remember, and since I actually enjoy country music now (something my 20 year-old self would be shocked at) I rocked out with his new music. It was also a great photography workout: I’d brought THE BEAST (my 70-200mm Nikkor f/2.8 lens) specifically to shoot the music concerts. I didn’t drag that heavy thing all the way across the country to not use it!

Being a former musician (I am, sadly, merely a bass owner now), I love seeing a tight band backing up a stellar vocalist. In addition to a mix of old and new music, Rucker added in some great cover songs, including She Talks to Angels and No Diggity. Genres be damned; good music is good music, right? ? Continue reading Darius Rucker Live: Concert Photos & Video

Seattle Storm 2017 Basketball Photo Shoot

I call this photo “David vs. Goliath”: that’s the Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird (5 foot 9) going up against the Mercury Phoenix’s Brittney Griner (6 foot 9). ?

I had the pleasure of attending my first WNBA basketball game in August of last year, and it was a fun experience for my whole family. And while I was pretty far from the action, having my Nikkor 70-200mm lens and Nikon D750 24 megapixels to crop from let me capture some pretty cool photos. And for being my first WNBA basketball game, I’m happy with how most of them turned out.

[View the entire gallery]

How to use Lightroom CC + Still Export Albums in Lightroom Classic CC

I’ve been using Adobe Lightroom since 1.0, and I’ve evolved a workflow that adapts to some of the limitations in both Lightroom and local storage. I use Lightroom for active photo shoots only, meaning that being able to archive my albums is critical. My workflow looks like this (what does yours look like? post in the comments):

  1. Import photos + videos off memory card into new album
  2. Edit photos in Lightroom (first pass culling + develop remaining photos + second pass culling + final development tweaks)
  3. Export photos as 80% quality JPEGS, export videos as original quality
  4. Bulk rename JPEGs + bulk timestamp change in ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac
  5. Export album as catalog + delete album from Lightroom
  6. Put catalog onto Synology NAS (which is then backed up in multiple places)

Adobe recently shook up the photography world by releasing a brand new cloud-centric version of Lightroom called Lightroom CC, and re-naming what we knew as Lightroom to Lightroom Classic CC. They added some performance enhancements to Lightroom Classic, which are greatly appreciated, but otherwise didn’t add any new features. That’s a bit frustrating given we pay a monthly fee to Adobe that we presume goes into improving the product.

The big development effort clearly went into Lightroom CC, and though it’s obviously a 1.0 product lacking in many features we’re used to in Lightroom Classic, I see a lot of potential in it. The biggest limitation in real-world use is going to be upstream bandwidth: you need to have at least 20mbps up – if not 40+ mbps – yet the average nationwide upstream bandwidth is only 8.51 mbps. That will be a massive bottleneck for most people to push all their raw files into the cloud to then use on Lightroom mobile apps. Continue reading How to use Lightroom CC + Still Export Albums in Lightroom Classic CC

Like Trying to Photograph Lightning: Taking Pictures of Hummingbirds

I had an opportunity to take photos of feeding hummingbirds this summer when we stopped over for the night in Trail, BC. It was the single hardest photo subject I’ve ever had – hummingbirds are so small, and move so fast, it was extremely difficult to get a focus lock and take a photo. Most of the time the bird would leave the frame before my camera could get a lock. I must have shot 60 frames just to get these four. I had to learn to hear their incoming buzz – they sound like small helicopters – and guess/hope where they’d be. I didn’t have a tripod or a shutter release so I couldn’t set up a “proper” shoot, but it was still fun trying to capture just the right moment. And if there’s one argument for 50 megapixel cameras, it’s this: being forced to crop so much leaves few pixels left. The source photos after processing are only 3.5 to 3.9 megapixels in size, so no giant wall prints for these photos. ?

I had fun busting out the ol’ #Yeti for a guest spot on a podcast. More details later!

I had fun busting out the ol' #Yeti for a guest spot on a podcast. More details later!

After two years of waiting, #ThingCharger is finally a reality! Here's hoping it works…

After two years of waiting, #ThingCharger is finally a reality! Here's hoping it works...
Posted by Instagrate to WordPress

I'm excited to finally get my @zoltcharger – really impressed so far!

I'm excited to finally get my @zoltcharger - really impressed so far!
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Watched the highest-grossing movie of all time today, and threw down $20 on the largest lottery jackpot in history. It seemed like the appropriate thing to do (I buy lotto tickets twice a decade).

Watched the highest-grossing movie of all time today, and threw down $20 on the largest lottery jackpot in history. It seemed like the appropriate thing to do (I buy lotto tickets twice a decade).
Posted by Instagrate to WordPress